1 April 2024 – Banyana Banyana landed in Abuja, Nigeria, on Sunday afternoon ahead of the first leg Olympic qualifier against the West Africans to be played on Friday, 5 April 2024.

South African senior women’s team coach Desiree Ellis explained that the decision to travel early to Nigeria was intended to help the team acclimatize to the weather conditions in Abuja as they are different from the conditions at home.

Ellis travelled with 17 players after a week of preparations in a local-based camp that took place from 25 – 31 March 2024 in Pretoria, South Africa.

Refiloe Jane, Noko Matlou and Jermaine Seoposenwe are the three overseas-based players who have joined up with the team in Abuja. Hildah Magaia, Thembi Kgatlana, Linda Mothlalo and Sinoxolo Cesane are yet to join up with the Sasol-sponsored team.

The team was given a warm welcome by the South African Embassy in Abuja and Lindi Mnimela delivered their best wishes on behalf of South African High Commissioner, Thami Mseleku.

“On behalf of High Commissioner Thami Mseleku, we are here to welcome you. He is the one who sent us here to give you a warm welcome. We have been waiting for the team for hours, patiently so because we were looking forward to having this privilege and honour of seeing each and every of you,” said Mnimela.

“I know you are all tired from the trip and we just wanted to wish you the best for the game on Friday. We are looking forward to it with our vuvuzelas ready and we have no doubt that you are going to win this”.

The team had their first official training session on Monday afternoon and will continue with preparations until Thursday.